Objectives: Experiences of racial discrimination have been associated with diverse negative health outcomes among racial minorities. However, extant findings of the association between racial discrimination and alcohol behaviors among Black college students are mixed. The current study examined mediating roles of depressive symptoms and coping drinking motives in the association of perceived racial discrimination with binge drinking and negative drinking consequences. Design: Data were obtained from a cross-sectional study of Black college students attending a predominantly White institution in the northeastern US (N = 251, 66% female, mean age = 20 years). Results: Results from path analysis showed that, when potential mediators were not considered, perceived racial discrimination was positively associated with negative drinking consequences but not frequency of binge drinking. Serial multiple mediation analysis showed that depressive symptoms and in turn coping drinking motives partially mediated the associations of perceived racial discrimination with both binge drinking frequency and negative drinking consequences (after controlling for sex, age, and negative life events). Conclusions: Perceived racial discrimination is directly associated with experiences of alcohol-related problems, but not binge drinking behaviors among Black college students. Affective responses to perceived racial discrimination experiences and drinking to cope may serve as risk mechanisms for alcohol-related problems in this population. Implications for prevention and intervention efforts are discussed.
- college students
- coping motives
- racial discrimination
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health